Ricketts, Grabavoy taken with top picks in expansion draft

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Orlando City SC selected Portland Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts with its top choice in Wednesday's MLS expansion draft, while New York City FC claimed midfielder Ned Grabavoy with its first selection.

Ricketts, 37, has spent the past two seasons in Portland, where he has started 64 games and posted an impressive 21 clean sheets while collecting the Goalkeeper of the Year award in 2013.

Ricketts is an interesting selection for Orlando as the veteran goalkeeper could be between the sticks at first kick next season while Tally Hall continues to recover from a torn ACL.

Grabavoy has spent the past six seasons with Real Salt Lake, where he played under current NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis from 2009-2014. He scored two goals for the Claret and Cobalt and added three assists.

Other notable selections for Orlando include Philadelphia Union midfielder/forward Pedro Ribeiro, who was taken in the fourth round, as well former No. 1 overall SuperDraft selection Danny Mwanga, who will head to central Florida after being selected in the eighth round. Columbus Crew forward Jairo Arrieta was snagged by the Lions in the sixth round.

Ribeiro was selected 15th overall by Philadelphia in the 2014 SuperDraft and contributed two goals in nine appearances, while Mwanga appeared in just six games last season for the Colorado Rapids.

Other notable selections for New York include New England Revolution forward Patrick Mullins and D.C. United midfielder Thomas McNamara.

Mullins was an 11th-overall selection by the Revolution in the 2014 SuperDraft and appeared in 21 games this season, scoring four goals and adding one assist. He also provided the assist that led to Chris Tierney's equalizing goal in MLS Cup against the Los Angeles Galaxy on Dec. 7.

McNamara made six appearances for Chivas USA in his rookie season in 2014, scoring one goal. He was then selected by United in the Chivas USA dispersal draft.

The full list of expansion selections is as follows:

Orlando City: GK Donovan Ricketts (Portland), M Tony Cascio (Colorado), Jalil Anibaba (Seattle), M/F Pedro Ribeiro (Philadelphia), M Lewis Neal (D.C. United), F Jairo Arrieta (Columbus), D Heath Pearce (Montreal), F Danny Mwanga (Colorado), F Mark Sherrod (Houston), D Eric Gehrig (Columbus)

New York City FC: M Ned Grabavoy (Real Salt Lake), F Patrick Mullins (New England), D Jason Hernandez (San Jose), M Daniel Lovitz (Toronto), F Tony Taylor (New England), M Mehdi Ballouchy (Vancouver), D George John (FC Dallas), M Thomas McNamara (D.C. United), M Sal Zizzo (Sporting Kansas City), D Chris Wingert (Real Salt Lake).

Also on Wednesday, the Montreal Impact selected former Chivas USA midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker with the first pick in the waiver draft, while winger Leandro Barrera went second to San Jose and defender Bobby Burling was taken third by the Colorado Rapids.

The 17 other MLS clubs passed on their waiver draft selections.